Earthshine and Venus

February 16, 2004


Provided and copyright by: Laurent Laveder, Optics of the Atmosphere Gallery
Summary authors & editors: Jim Foster; Laurent Laveder

On January 24, 2004, Venus and the Moon made a most striking twosome. This photo, taken from Brittany, France, shows them a little more than 3 degrees apart (approximately 1/3 of a fist in width when held at arm's length). The missing or non illuminated portion of the Moon is filled in by earthshine -- reflected sunlight from the Earth. Dazzling Venus (-4 magnitude) is shown here shining through the limbs of a stoic beech tree. The tiny dot perhaps faintly visible to the right of Venus is the star Lambda Aquarii.

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